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Lewiston's Betsy Diachun Named Senior of Year

By Frank Parlato

Niagara County Senior of the Year Betsy Diachun is congratulated by Niagara County Office for the Aging Director Ken Genewick, left, and Niagara County Legislature Majority Leader Rick Updegrove, R-Lockport, at the County Courthouse in Lockport. Diachun was lauded for her years of civic involvement, including serving on the boards of a number of foundations and agencies, as well as her work delivering home-delivered meals to other seniors and working as an elections worker in Ransomville and Youngstown.

LOCKPORT—Her many years of volunteerism have paid off for Betsy Diachun of Lewiston as she has been named the 2013 Senior of the Year by the Niagara County Office for the Aging.

Diachun, who chairs the Niagara Area Foundation of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, has been involved in a host of civic programs—everything from delivering nutritious meals to other, less mobile seniors as part of the OFA's home-delivered meals program, to serving as an elections inspector in Ransomville and Youngstown. That dedication to her neighbors is a big part of why she was selected for the annual honor, said Ken Genewick, Office of the Aging director in Niagara County.

"Betsy's had a life of service to not only her community of Lewiston, but throughout the county as well," Genewick said. "She's been involved with many boards, she's a small business owner, and she's been really instrumental in the services we provide at the Office for the Aging including delivering home-delivered meals for us in her hometown for more than 15 years."

Genewick noted his agency relies heavily on volunteers, most of them seniors themselves, to operate various programs that serve the senior community. The home-delivered meals are one of the most popular, and visible, OFA programs, with a team of volunteers that includes many active older adults fanning out across the county every weekday to bring hot, nutritionally-balanced meals to seniors for whom traveling to senior centers and other dining facilities is not practical.

"For us, it's great to be able to honor someone like Betsy, who along with 200 other seniors and volunteers in our office allows us to provide a high level of services for the seniors of Niagara County," Genewick said.

Diachun's civic involvement over the years has included two terms on the Lewiston-Porter School District's Board of Education, serving on the Leadership Niagara Board of Directors, fundraising for the Youngstown Free Library, and starting the first Red Hat Society in Niagara Falls.

She is the former assistant director of Old Fort Niagara and remains secretary of the Old Fort Niagara Board of Directors, and is on the board of the Niagara Beautification Commission.



Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

JUN 11, 2013